NFL Grind Down Week 10: Bills vs. Browns

Vegas Overview

BUF @ CLE Team Spread Total Implied Moneyline
CLE -2.5 40.5 21.5 -152
BUF 2.5 40.5 19 132

Betting Quick Take: I’m going to be honest: I’m a bit surprised the Browns are favorites here. Yes, I know this is a home game for the Browns so it makes sense to give them the home field advantage factor, but this is a Browns team that just lost 24-19 to a small-handed Brandon Allen team and that made Baker Mayfield a new meme. It would not shock me at all if the Bills pulled off the upset here. While the Browns have the superior offense on paper, I respect this Bills defense. I lean the over on the 40.5 as I think the Bills put up some points here and pull off an upset.

CLE -2.5
Confidence Level 2/10

Over 40.5
Confidence Level 6/10

Injury Situations

Player Team Pos Status Part Impact
Kareem Hunt CLE RB P Suspension 7

Injuries to Monitor: The Bills have no major injuries of DFS impact. For the Browns, Ricky Seals-Jones is dealing with a knee injury and has missed both the Wednesday and Thursday team practices. Demetrius Harris and Stephen Carlson will continue running as the team’s top tight end options but also aren’t DFS relevant for us.

Other News and Notes: Kareem Hunt is finally eligible to return from his suspension. It’s TBD how much workload he gets, but it’s going to impact Nick Chubb and pushes backup Dontrell Hilliard to third on the depth chart.

Matchup Factors, Team Identity Metrics, and Game Flow Expectations

Expected Game Pace and Tempo: This has the makings of an ugly slug fest. The Bills rank 18th in pace while the Browns rank 19th in pace. This game also has the lowest over/under on the entire slate and with Kareem Hunt back for the Browns, it wouldn’t shock me if there were even more run plays for Cleveland as they work him back in. Weather-wise, we also have rain in the forecast with winds in the 17 MPH range depending on which website you look at. While I do slightly lean on the over for the 40.5 implied total, the pace and tempo of this game sets up to be on the slower side.

Cleveland Browns Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Rank Proj ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Baker Mayfield CLE 14.73 QB24 32.92 211.95 Rank 17 Rank 11 Rank 10 Rank 16
RB Team Rank Proj ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Nick Chubb CLE 17.37 RB7 65% 14% Rank 10 Rank 7 Rank 12 Rank 15
Kareem Hunt CLE 5.15 RB41 20% 4% Rank 28 Rank 25 Rank 33 Rank 26
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Odell Beckham CLE 15.47 WR13 26% 9.20 Rank 11 Rank 21 Rank 31 Rank 24
Jarvis Landry CLE 12.78 WR30 23% 8.14 Rank 19 Rank 15 Rank 7 Rank 16
Antonio Callaway CLE 8.29 WR59 15% 5.31 Rank 43 Rank 22 Rank 12 Rank 20
Demetrius Harris CLE 4.93 TE26 9% 3.19 Rank 21 Rank 20 Rank 19 Rank 20

BUF Adj. Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 29/RB Rank 6/WR Rank 29/TE Rank 30

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: Week 9 Snap Share: Nick Chubb (60%), Dontrell Hilliard (40%)

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: BUF 30th in Run DVOA

The Bills have all the signs of being a funnel defense, ranking 30th in Run DVOA but 5th in pass DVOA. On paper this sets up well for Nick Chubb and the Cleveland run game. Normally I’d want to endorse Chubb for DFS purposes given this matchup, but the return of Kareem Hunt makes things uncertain in terms of how their workload will be divided. Last week, backup Dontrell Hilliard took on 40% of the snaps, while Chubb handled the remaining 60%. With Hunt back, does Hunt just take over 30%-40% immediately, or will he be worked in slowly? Will we see a 50/50 timeshare even? Given these question marks it makes me to want to take a one week wait-and-see approach before rostering anyone in this backfield. Coach Kitchens was quoted as saying with regards to Hunt: “Nick is about one thing, and one thing only, and that’s winning. I don’t think either one of those two are selfish at all.”

This is all to say that I do expect Hunt to be involved in this game, and it makes this entire backfield risky. Play Chubb at your own risk in GPPs given the solid matchup, but know his workload may be impacted.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: Week 9 Target Leaders: Jarvis Landry (13), Odell Beckham (6), Antonio Callaway (5), Nick Chubb (5), Demetrius Harris (4), Ricky Seals-Jones (2), Dontrell Hilliard (2), KhaDarel Hodge (1), Rashard Higgins (1), Stephen Carlson (1)

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: BUF 5th in Pass DVOA

Jarvis Landry was the star of last week’s show with a team-high 13 targets, but things get tougher here against a good Bills pass defense. The squeaky wheel narrative is in full effect here, with Odell Beckham saying “I can’t get the ball to save my life.” Baker Mayfield responded by saying he plans to “force feed” Beckham early to get him involved, but it’s easier said than done.

Whether you believe the narrative can overcome the matchup is the real question. Beckham has been the subject of double teams this season and he’s seen his target share vary greatly. Here are his targets this season by game, starting from Week 1: 11 > 10 > 9 > 7 > 6 > 11 > 7 > 6. I love a good narrative, but I have a hard time believing Mayfield will force the ball to Beckham against one of the better pass defenses in the league if the opening isn’t there. You can certainly take shots on Beckham in tournaments, but I’m planning to be underweight despite the narrative. Even secondary options like Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway don’t feel like strong values on this slate.

Demetrius Harris looks like he’ll run as the TE1 again with Ricky Seals-Jones ailing, but Harris is in a 70/30 timeshare with Stephen Carlson so I think there are safer situations to target.

For the most part, I am not high on Baker Mayfield or this passing game. Landry excelled in his matchup last week against the Broncos but his price tag slightly rose across the industry and the matchup is not one I’m looking to exploit.

Team Quick Summary: The funnel defense of the Bills has me preferring the run game of the Browns over the Mayfield/Landry/Beckham passing game, but the return of Kareem Hunt throws a wrench into things. I plan to be underweight on this offense as a whole and I’m taking a wait-and-see approach on Nick Chubb until I get a better sense of how Hunt is incorporated into this offense.

Buffalo Bills Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Josh Allen BUF 18.36 QB10 30.24 206.30 Rank 5 Rank 14 Rank 6 Rank 5
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Devin Singletary BUF 12.24 RB24 44% 12% Rank 19 Rank 9 Rank 14 Rank 9
Frank Gore BUF 6.31 RB39 28% 4% Rank 27 Rank 26 Rank 23 Rank 25
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
John Brown BUF 12.96 WR26 25% 8.23 Rank 7 Rank 42 Rank 26 Rank 36
Cole Beasley BUF 11.13 WR42 21% 7.06 Rank 30 Rank 8 Rank 20 Rank 15
Isaiah McKenzie BUF 4.74 WR77 8% 2.69 Rank 52 Rank 52 Rank 52 Rank 57
Dawson Knox BUF 5 TE25 10% 3.36 Rank 18 Rank 19 Rank 17 Rank 18
Tyler Kroft BUF 4.38 TE29 9% 3.02 Rank 23 Rank 21 Rank 22 Rank 21

CLE Adj. Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 9/RB Rank 11/WR Rank 19/TE Rank 12

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: Devin Singletary Last 3 Weeks Snap Share: 39% > 68% > 66%
Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: CLE 21st in PASS DVOA

The emergence of Devin Singletary has had a trickle down effect on this entire offense. Singletary handled 66% of the team’s running back snaps last week (compared to Gore’s 34%), leading to a 20-95-1 line on the ground and a 3-45-0 line over 4 targets through the air. Frank Gore did have 11 carries but managed just 15 yards. Gore still needs 85 yards to surpass Barry Sanders as 3rd All-Time on the rushing yards leaderboard, but the fact that Singletary has emerged as the clear lead back may mean Gore doesn’t get that spot until a few weeks down the road. Gore is now a DFS non-factor and Singetary’s lead-back status makes him a GPP option for this week.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: John Brown target market share in Week 9: 39%
Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: CLE 18th in PASS DVOA

I had mentioned above that Devin Singletary has had a trickle down effect, and it’s mainly that we’ve seen Josh Allen running less this season. Last season Allen had 8 rushing touchdowns in 12 games. This season, he has 4 rushing touchdowns in 8 games. His rushing touchdown rate is down this season and that’s going to hurt his overall fantasy value as someone who doesn’t get a ton of passing volume. I personally prefer several other quarterbacks this week. Allen was on my radar last week as a GPP option against the Redskins, and while this is a solid matchup on paper, the emergence of a better run game and just the nature of the slate has me looking elsewhere for my quarterback needs.

John Brown saw seven targets last week, which accounted for 39% of the team’s targets. He turned that into a modest 4-76-0 line and the boom/bust nature of Brown makes him a GPP option and stacking partner with Allen. The Browns are an exploitable matchup, as last week they allowed a 3-115-1 line to Noah Fant and a 5-56-1 line to Courtland Sutton. The week prior they let Julian Edelman torch them for 8-78-2. And then before that Jaron Brown of the Seahawks dropped a 3-29-2 line.

Outside of Brown, Cole Beasley is the only option I’d consider. Beasley did have a touchdown last week but got it on just two targets. Given the lack of overall volume in this offense, he’s going to need a touchdown to salvage his day. I don’t think we need to target Dawson Knox or the tight end situation on Buffalo as that’s just too thin.

Team Quick Summary: I see no cash game plays on the Bills. Josh Allen and John Brown are a viable tournament stack. Devin Singletary should continue to see 60%+ of the running back snaps, but still has to contend with Frank Gore work. The matchup is good enough where I am fine with Singletary in GPPs if you think the Bills let his loose this week, but this slate is large enough where Singletary is someone I’d merely mix into my GPP builds and wouldn’t prioritize.

DFS Recommendations

Optimal DFS Plays: BUF Defense

Leverage Plays: Josh Allen / John Brown stack, Odell Beckham (if you believe the squeaky wheel narrative)

Secondary Plays: Nick Chubb, CLE Defense

About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka fathalpert) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank.

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